The California Autobody Association (CAA) is asking its members to send letters to members of the state’s Senate and Assembly in opposition of AB 1200. This bill, which was introduced in the Assembly and recently revised by the Senate, could be heard on the Senate and Assembly floors within the next few weeks, the association says.
A.B. 1200 adds several paragraphs to Section 758.5 of California’s insurance code, the anti-steering statute, outlining the need for claimants to be “informed” during the claims process.
Per the bill, the following introduction would be added to the anti-steering statute:
Claimants whose vehicles have been damaged in accidents should be fully informed regarding the benefits and services offered by insurance companies as part of the claims process. Those benefits and services include, but are not limited to, policy terms regarding repair warranties, the type of replacement parts used in the repair, the anticipated time to repair the damaged vehicle, the anticipated costs associated with the repairs, and the quality of the workmanship.
Claimants benefit because being informed about the benefits and services offered by insurance companies allows them to make meaningful choices regarding the repair process and the automotive repair dealer to be used.
Insurers should present that information in a truthful and nondeceptive manner.
The bill also reiterates that insurers may discuss “benefits and services” in the anti-steering code section outlining exceptions to the rule, “No insurer shall suggest or recommend that an automobile be repaired at a specific automotive repair dealer.”
The CAA says it’s concerned that AB 1200, as proposed, would allow insurers to legally “steer” claimants to insurer-preferred repair shops even after an informed consumer has clearly made a choice as to where the vehicle should be repaired.